COVID-19 and the evolving landscape of betting and iGaming
COVID-19 has had a worldwide impact, and there is hardly anybody, or industry, that has gone unaffected by this pandemic. The pandemic has seriously affected the whole global betting industry and has forced establishments like land-based casinos and bet shops to close. Online betting has also not been spared, with travel restrictions, quarantines, and the overall uncertainty; cancellations of sporting events have occurred worldwide. For example, several lower-division sporting teams faced financial difficulties and were unable to commence. Major prestigious tournaments, the Euro and the Olympics in Japan being postponed until the Summer of 2021, have reduced the number of sports and betting markets available. Let’s see how betting and iGaming businesses have adapted to this new reality.
With the cancellation of sporting events right across the globe, COVID-19 forced many operators who relied on offline events to seek alternatives. Incorporating an online casino platform and slot software is one such alternative that has allowed businesses to extend their operations. Offering a vast range of Classic Casino games like Baccarat, Roulette, Poker, and slots, along with the challenging gaming experiences of skill-based games, have proven to be attractive and signified an increase in popularity during the COVID period. Providing variety has helped operators diversify their portfolios and not wait and rely on the uncertainty of what might happen in the world's landscape managing with COVID-19.
In contrast to how offline sporting events were significantly affected, we saw the emergence and rapid growth of popularity with sportsbooks offering esports events and virtual sports in early 2020. Many viewed this as the only opportunity for viewership, participation, and betting and capitalized on this emerging trend, decisively introducing esports and virtual sports to their range of offerings. Furthermore, conventional live sports bettors also have varied and extensively adopted esports and virtual sports not only just as an alternative to live events but as part of their regular entertainment. Uplatform has acknowledged the popularity of esports and virtual sports through our portfolio of offerings like Call of Duty, Angry Birds, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, World of Tanks, and virtual sports like football, horse and greyhound racing, motorsports, and basketball. With many of these games going hand in hand with the widespread popularity of Console, Mobile phone, and PC games, it's no wonder their prevalence has grown.
COVID and gambling behaviour
Aside from the benefits that game developers and betting providers are experiencing in the COVID-19 pandemic, several concerns have arisen regarding health and life-threatening outcomes. Some of these issues include the risk of affecting mental health, increased gambling and video gaming.
Gamblers frequently place bets due to the large amount of free time they now have, resulting in substantial losses and the formation of compulsive habits. This behavior can lead to the development of gambling disorders. As a result, all gambling operators must provide responsible gambling services to restrict these possible threats and assist impacted players.
Recognition of effective, responsible gaming is critically essential. As a dedicated business partner in the betting and iGaming industry, Uplatform advocates responsible gambling and has integrated ethical standards into all our products and services to ensure that the players of our partnered enterprises are thoroughly informed and equipped with the preventive measures to deal with avoiding the associated problems and threats of gambling.
Responsible standards are expected through every cooperation that offers online gambling platforms and services - taking steps to adhere to and maintain ethical and accountable promotional and marketing in safe online environments, prevention of underage gambling, protective measures against fraudulent and criminal activities, and safeguarding information and the assured security and protection of payments online.
Uplatform is committed to these standards and provides information on the prevention of problem gambling, ongoing education on gambling dangers, and how to gamble safely.
An ongoing progression is being shown by operators seeking practical, effective solutions to incorporate online. The Uplatform team regularly receives significant interest from enterprises, seeking viable and seamless solutions to move online, not only those affected by COVID. However, this move expedited some operations with temporary closures of land-based casinos and bet shops; our omni-channel solutions provided those impacted with a straightforward and profitable alternative that offers offline and online long-term solutions that effectively co-exist together.
Our omni-channel solution proves an advantageous option for many operators allowing our partners to connect their retail and digital offerings effortlessly. Omni-channel provides players convenience and value, featuring a one-point registration that encompasses a single wallet, enabling players to rapidly move funds between all channels, along with a combined loyalty system giving players a choice to earn and utilize their points.
Given the pandemic's sheer global scale, the probability that COVID-19 could be around for some time to come, and the hurdles that live-sports events may need to work through. The future is still very promising. Being prepared to make changes that have proven successful, such as diversifying offerings with compressive online casino portfolio, along with esports and virtual sports - represents a tremendous revenue opportunity for betting operators, reflecting a silver-lined cloud shimmering over the industry.